Kerala Backwaters are one of the unique attractions in Kerala, The network includes five large lakes linked by canals, both manmade and natural, fed by 38 rivers, and extending virtually half the length of Kerala state. The backwaters were formed by the action of waves and shore currents creating low barrier islands across the mouths of the many rivers flowing down from the Western Ghats range. The traditional cargoboats are called "KETTUVALLOM" - KETTU means to tie, VALLOM - means boat. So literally translated means boat which are made by wooden planks tied together with coconut ropes and painted with cashew nut oil outside. They are 70 to 100 feet long and 15 to 20 feet wide. Imagine the creaking sound of the joints in the rice barge's bamboo frame on a moonlit night with the brightly shining stars forming an ethereal canopy overhead as you lie on the upper deck of your houseboat. Far from the frenzied atmosphere which is evident in the rest of India, backwaters in Kerala offers unhurried and laid back travel experience along the lush paddy field strewn and coconut grove shaded Malabar Coast.